Shearings Holidays has launched 21 new itineraries and added the four-star MS Serenade 2 to its range of five exclusively chartered ships as part of its 2016 river cruise programme.

The company, which reports strong growth in river cruise again this year, will offer cruises on MS Serenade 2 for the first time.

Five new itineraries will operate on the ship, sailing along the Danube River including the 17-day ‘Spectacular Danube to the Black Sea’ tour, with visits to six countries, including cruising through the iconic Iron Gates. Prices start from £1,969 per person.

The operator has also updated its selection of ‘Exclusive to Shearings’ cruises, operating four new itineraries on the four-star MPS Da Vinci including a ten-day ‘Rhine in Flames – The Night of Fire Magic’ cruise, available from £1,139.

It has also added three new itineraries on the popular MPS Rotterdam, including the ten-day ‘Majestic Rhine and Main Valley’ cruise, available from £1,179.

In addition, and in-line with customer feedback, the company now offers a larger collection of ‘Escorted by Shearings’ all-inclusive cruises, touring along a range of rivers in France and Italy.

Customers who wish to make the most of their river cruise experience, or simply want more time to explore their chosen destination, can choose to extend their stay or take advantage of one of the ‘Combination cruises’ offers, which gives them the flexibility to combine two river cruises from the company’s chartered collection.

Agents can also offer a new three-night ‘Scenic Rhine Mini-Cruise’ itinerary which provides a taster experience for customers who are new to cruising, with stops in Bonn, Andernach and Cologne, with prices from £579.

The company's commercial director, Caroline Brown, said: “Our 2016 programme will help us to meet the growing demand for river cruise holidays, offering customers a variety of new and unique experiences at competitive prices. We’re very excited with the addition of the MS Serenade 2 and its great array of itineraries, offering customers the opportunity to explore charming destinations further afield.

"We worked hard to develop an exciting programme, which appeals to both existing and new customers alike. We’ve also for the first time included a brand new pull out ‘Rivers of Europe’ map within our 2016 River Cruise brochure, to help agents find the perfect cruises for their customers."

Customers booking an itinerary before November 16 will save up to £100 per couple.

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